Blogging: How Much Money I Make & How Does It Happen?

Posted: September 14, 2011 at 7:04 am

Last week, I discussed my approach to blogging numbers – page views and money talk and everything in between. I shared that while I do have goals for my blog, I never view you all as page impressions or subscribers. I value the relationships. I blog for my passion. That’s what keeps me going. Please, please, please never forget that!

Howevvvveeerrrr….I know many of you showed interest in the behind the scenes stuff of the good ‘ole blogging world. I took some of the common questions I got in that post or have received via email often – specifically about money and increasing readership. Today I will talk about the money side of things from my personal experience. Hold onto your hats, it’s gonna be a wild ride!

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Money & Blogging

Let’s jump in to the hush-hush stuff from the get-go shall we? Quite a few mentioned they are simply curious as to how much people can make from blogging. I can’t speak for others, but I will tell you in a vague round about way where I stand. I can hardly believe I’m going here, but why the heck not?

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The best comparison I can come up with? I probably earn comparable to a part-time grocery bagger. Only blogging is a whole lot more fun! And I don’t have a manager breathing down my neck every 5 minutes. It’s “work” I can do that allows me to pursue a passion in a flexible way, do what I feel meant to do and follow the path it takes,  and still be a mom first. <—most important!

The point of this is to say it’s hard to make a full income from blogging. I don’t even think most bloggers expect blogging to act as their main source of income. I know I don’t.  And like I said last time – I would continue blogging even if I didn’t make a cent from it.

In my opinion, blogging simply opens up opportunities to other ventures (like Julie with freelance writing) or it works well alongside other personal goals and plans (like my plans with personal training).

I cannot emphasize enough – DON’T. BLOG. FOR. MONEY! Blog for the passion and enjoyment. Please. I beg of you!

How I Have Found Opportunities via Blogging

This one is simple to answer, but hard to put into practice. I gained opportunities in blogging two ways. The first way I get opportunities through blogging? Companies contacted me.

Love Grown, Champion, NuNaturals, and the Mom Central Consulting review network are just a few recent examples of companies and networks I work with that first reached out to me. I don’t quite know how they find me in the first place, but I think the fact that I focus on developing relationships, producing quality content, and working hard helps these brands feel comfortable working together.

That now brings me to the second part of finding opportunities through blogging.

Don’t be afraid to ask.

After building a relationship with a brand, or even a fellow blogger or blog network, sometimes you have to put yourself out there and ask for an opportunity.

For example, working with Love Grown at the Healthy Living Summit only came about because I asked them if they would be interested in having me represent them at the conference. I only suggested it after already developing a strong relationship of mutual respect with them, but I still had to take that leap of faith for it to happen. It wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter.


Becca and Jason – Two of the awesome people behind Love Grown. Spread the love!

There are countless opportunities out there that come about just from making connections and then not fearing making yourself vulnerable if you notice a possibility from those connections. That is not to say you buddy up with people solely for the sake of getting something from them down the road.

It all goes back to not blogging for the numbers, but instead representing yourself well. I appreciate the opportunities as a way to help support my family a tiny bit extra, but I still remember the following: to focus on being myself, writing what matters to me, and enjoying the community.

Stand for what you believe. Connect with other like-minded individuals and companies. Keep your eyes open, but stay true to your core values. Care about your reputation and what you put out there. And after all that, don’t be afraid to go after and believe in your goals.

  • Has blogging opened up any fun opportunities for you? What?
  • Let me know if you have any questions regarding readership for Part 3.
  • Aaaannnddd…how crazy do you think I am for talking about this? Winking smile

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56 Comments to “Blogging: How Much Money I Make & How Does It Happen?”
  1. I totally agree that you shouldn’t blog for money. In fact, I really don’t think you should do ANYTHING for money – do it for passion! (Talk from a teacher. :) )

    Secondly, blogging has opened up so many other doors, such as working with different companies and getting a message about a healthier lifestyle!

    PS – you’re not crazy.

  2. You’re not crazy at all for talking about this! Although I don’t make any money from my blog I have always wondered how things worked on the financial/review side so I appreciate you being open. And I agree 100% that the primary goal should not be to make money…I feel like that would take all the fun out of blogging!

  3. I don’t think you’re crazy at all for sharing this! You always seem to push the envelope with your writing (in a good way), and I think it’s only making your readers – myself included – more knowledgeable and connected.

  4. great post tina! as always love your honestly and I agree 100% with everything you say!

  5. Brenda says:

    This is great and your outlook and goals for blogging are awesome!! Thanks!!

    I have a question. I’ve been thinking about safety. Being so new to all this, and hearing you mention negative comments against your content at times, I just wonder, how do you prepare yourself for those negative comments PLUS how do you protect yourself against hackers or people falsely identifying themselves? I just this morning got thinking about my photos and am thinking I should be putting some sort of watermark or other protective measure on them. My identitiy was hacked on Facebook once, so I’m leery about this sort of stuff.

    Thanks!!!

    :-)

  6. i love that you addressed this topic! it takes me back to sitting in our room at HLS and saying “what the heck!?” and sharing all that we wanted to share. :)

  7. Khushboo says:

    Girrrrrlllll you did not just go THERE with this post, oh no you diiii’int…haha just kidding! Super interesting post and I’m looking forward to reading the comments on this one ! I agree- do not blog for money. As of now, I don’t earn a penny off my blog and hey I’m not gonna lie- I would love it if eventually I did but that is not even a smidgen of where my motivation to blog comes from. I think every blogger should view income from their blog as a bonus instead of an incentive. I’ve seen a few blogs (and eventually stopped reading) who clearly blog for the wrong reasons and it’s too apparent! I honestly think it degrades a blog, but that’s just my opinion!

  8. Grocery Bagger?

    Grr . . . That’s still so vague to me! Lol

    I understand why people aren’t comfortable about sharing #s, I guess.

    I make anywhere from $3-$9 a month but I’m also starting to get products and opportunities.

    I’m amazed how different the ranges of $ are between different types of bloggers and quality of blogs from all different niches.

  9. Lee says:

    You’re not crazy for talking about it. I once asked a very popular blogger how many page views she got just because I was curious (and she was doing an ask me anything type dealio).

    I have gotten some free products but I don’t make very much money at all from my blog. I think that people think mine is more popular than it really is. I like blogging for the sake of blogging and I would do it for free, I just wish more people would read! It doesn’t have to do with money for me.

    Oh! I can’t believe I forgot about this. I got a freelance writing job (a deal website) because of my blog. That’s been a great thing that’s come out of it.

  10. I don’t think you’re crazy at all for talking about this! In fact, I totally respect it :) . I haven’t had any other opportunities that have stemmed from blogging, but I’ve also heard that you kind of need to be blogging for longer than I have in order for that to start happening haha. But honestly, if nothing does happen I will still do it :D .

  11. I love the partnerships you are creating. I don’t ever reach out and ask and am never contacted by any companies. So, I do appreciate you writing this – and definitely don’t think you’re crazy.

  12. Dorry says:

    I love that you are willing to talk about things that nobody else is! It all goes back to your honesty and the reason your readers love this blog. So refreshing. I have a feeling blogging will continue to open many doors for you. :) It’s definitely opened some for me in terms of taking my computer skills to work at lululemon and taking on the social media there, I’ve worked with great companies (including Love Grown Foods!) and been able to write some freelance articles. It’s also just great to have friends all over the world! Lindsay Cotter is one of my dearest friends and I met her through blogging. :)

  13. jobo says:

    Loved reading this and your approach. My first thought was that you probably get contacted a lot directly, but I love that you also reach out on your own and build relationships. That’s awesome. Given I am in PR, that’s a natural for me too…sometimes I think about doing more of that, but with my blog feeling like it doesn’t have a firm focus right now, I am ot even sure where I’d start. But this is food for thought! (no pun intended!)

  14. Tina, I LOVE the fact that you talk about this! You’re such a go-getter!
    I still cannot believe how many opportunities blogging has given me, and just like you said, it’s fantastic because it’s something that I am so passionate about.

    I totally agree with you that it should not be done for the money. As soon as that happens and the passion is taking out of the equation, I think it’s so overwhelmingly apparent to the readers. I do it because I love it and can barely go a day without it…just like you! :)

  15. Nope – not crazy at all. I was very curious. I’d love to make just enough $ so that blogging would pay for itself (not that I spend anything on it now except for my time). I just mean it’d pay for extra food splurges for things I want to review and a few fun giveaways. It sounds like I need to get on the ball with this! I appreciate the info.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Having worked part-time in a grocery store for many years…blogging really is a lot more fun! Ha! I think that people who make “a living” from blogging have to be so focused on increasing traffic that it must become stressful.

  17. Amy says:

    I am loving these posts, Tina! So informative– you’re answering all the questions I wanted to ask but never had the guts to :) Your last paragraph is my favorite– “Amen, sister!”

    I think the best opportunity blogging has given me so far has been meeting some wonderful friends … people who I would have *never* met otherwise!

  18. I don’t think you’re crazy at all-I really appreciate your post!

  19. Glad you went here and discussed it!

    I know that I could have more opportunities with my blog, but I just don’t have time to go out and explore them. I hope I will someday! For now, keep blogging for fun and hoping that my readership continues to grow in the process.

    • Same here Lisa! It’s cool to know there are opportunities out there, but right now my blog is just really an outlet and I think I would need to put in a lot more work to go and explore the next opportunities. I do think about it though!

  20. I really appreciate this post and you opening up about this hidden secret when it comes to blogging. I appreciate so much that you’re real and honest with us and it’s such great information for all us bloggers and readers. I don’t make any money off of blogging and even if and when I do it wouldn’t matter to me. Like you, blogging is my passion and it’s this community and friendships I’ve formed with all these lovely bloggers and readers is what matters to me most. Throughout my jobs, money is never at the forefront of my requirements, first and foremost is my happiness and fulfillment, that’s what always come first for me in life :)

  21. I don’t think you’re crazy at all — I’m glad you’re talking about this.

    I totally agree that blogging for money should not be the #1 goal — that makes it a chore and you will start to hate it — hello, that was my goal when I started my first blog. Now I do what I want: blog when I want and about what I want. I haven’t checked my stats in weeks because looking at that sort of thing didn’t motivate me in a positive way.

    You know that girl that babysits once per month for about 2 hours? That is how much I make per month blogging :)

  22. Not crazy at all — very informative!

    I’m always curious how people find me as well, but I love it when they do. And I only tout brands I believe in too: Love Grown, Chobani, NuGo, etc…I get free stuff that I can’t endorse because it wouldn’t normally be anything I’d buy or consume.

  23. RunEatRepeat says:

    I love all the friends and opportunities I have because of blogging! That’s the number one reason I do it :)

    • Tina says:

      Yep! Love you guys too much. I know life would be a little less dull without some Monica in it. ;)

      You seriously make me smile every day.

  24. I’ve only been blogging for two months, but I have to say that I’m addicted and find it therapeutic. I make enough with my day job, so I’ve never viewed blogging as a money maker but I like your discussion on developing relationships with vendors that you respect. I see that as more important and fulfilling.

  25. How long were you blogging before you got contacted by companies, and how popular was your blog at the time?

    • Tina says:

      I had probably been blogging about 6 months long when I first got contacts from companies. Those were mostly for plain reviews and not compensated programs. I don’t know how to answer for how “popular” it was though. I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 page views a day I think then if that’s what you mean?

  26. I agree with you on all fronts here :) I have to say though in response to the last question, I really just don’t understand why the topic of money in the blogging world is so taboo. A lot of us have ads on our sites, so yes, we make some sort of $ off of it. Why do people shy away from talking about it so much? So, good for you for opening up. If anyone ever asked me directly, I would’ve done the same. There’s just no reason to hide it in my opinion.

    • Tina says:

      Well, you have to consider…would you go up to an acquaintance and ask “so, what’s your salary?”. It’s kind of similar to that in a lot of people’s minds.

      • Gina says:

        Yeah, I hear ya about asking specifics. What I meant to say was the whole topic in general. $, pageviews, stats, just all seem like something most people shy away from and I guess I don’t really understand why it seems so hush-hush at times. I think it’s awesome that you were asked and actually responded!

  27. NOT crazy at all!! I know that I loved reading it.
    I’m totally with you – we must blog because we enjoy it, never for monetary gain! That’s just a side perk (that hopefully I’ll get to enjoy down the road).
    P.S. I’m going to be in Atlanta on the weekend of October 1st. I’ll be staying near Buckhead. We should try to meet up!

    • Tina says:

      We should! I know I have a friend’s 30th bday party that night, and a hair appt around noon that day…but maybe in between. Or sometime on the Friday before or something. We’ll work it out!

  28. tree peters says:

    I think you’re lovely and wonderful and generous for talking about this. As you always are.
    We’re all curious. We’re a lot of other bloggers and it’s just got to cross one’s mind…. I haven’t done anything to monetize my blogs, but I do wonder sometimes. I’m more interested in increasing readership actually. I have no answers to that one.
    I don’t tend to write “articles” that would bring people in. I just write “me” and I thikn that’s going to be my way. On my diet blog I have a small group of readers, but they are all so kind and supportive. I am grateful every day for the love I get back from them.
    I hope you continue to be successful with your blog!!

  29. Lindsey says:

    If I could get paid for every typo or grammatical error in my few-and-far-between blog posts, I’d be rich!

  30. megan says:

    as a new blogger who is still trying to figure this whole thing out, i just have to say i love your blogging series! it’s the most helpful one i’ve read yet. thank you!

  31. Heidi Nicole says:

    First, I want to say that I really appreciate the fact you letting it all hang out on topics like this.

    I am yet to get any major opportunities from blogging but I do feel like I have “met” some random internet strangers that I have a lot in common with!

    As a new self-hoster and someone finally taking blogging to the next level {whatever that may be…} I think one of my biggest questions and struggles is about getting more readership. Not necessarily random page views {I’ve found spam does a great job of that!} but honest to goodness interacting readers.

  32. [...] haven’t gotten any flack for my post from this morning. In all honesty, talking about things like blog money (including a general idea of how much I make personally) made me more than a little nervous. I [...]

  33. not crazy, just awesome. and real.

    I’ve only been doing this for a little over a year, and about half that time has been “paid”. For the first couple months I was looking at the numbers, I think it was natural with the change, and now I look a couple times a month, because while I don’t do this FOR money, I am in part motivated by goals and stats (accountant in me – I love numbers, and I love surpassing them!). :D

    I love the conversations I have, on my blog and others, and twitter! oh my, twitter! between my blog and twitter I have made some fantastic connections and friendships, and those are worth more than the money! I have also had opportunities with recipe proofing, which has been great fun and a community in itself! It brings a new way to connect with my passions.

    another (sometimes uncomfortable!) thing? I have had to stretch and learn my way around technology. often frustrating, sometimes exhilarating, and can make me feel smart AND dumb within the same hour! :D

  34. I am so glad you were willing to share this. However, it make me a little sad that you get paid for blogging pretty much what I get paid for my full time job (I get paid hourly). *sniff* I love your blog and I love the connections you try to make with your readers. You are definitely my blog-spiration!

    • Tina says:

      Well, only place to go is up. And I have my eye on other possibilities (like PT). Plus, it pays more than just twiddling my thumbs during nap times would. Haha! In other words…I feel blessed and am perfectly happy with it. Love what I do. :)

  35. I SO agree with you – it’s very clear who blogs for numbers and for money. and those never end up being the best blogs, anyway. :)

    I’ve always loved yours, Tina!

  36. Susan says:

    Toooootally agree that one should NEVER go into blogging specifically to make money! Only a veryvery small minority make a go at it. There are so many other surefire ways to make a paycheck doing something you like ;)

    Honestly, I would never want to be a full-time blogger. Sitting at home all by myself all day staring at a computer screen would make me want to gauge my eyeballs out. I need to get out of the house! Human interaction!

  37. GirlonRaw says:

    My belief is that blogging is not the business but the platform, marketing platform that is. Rarely with you find someone make a full time income off just blogging. There needs to be something else, even if it is affiliations or sponsorships but I seriously think the big money come from those using it as a platform for marketing their product or service. Great posts, keep them up please :)

  38. Paige @ RAN says:

    Hey Tina – great post! I think it’s really refreshing that you busted this taboo topic bubble! Your honesty is always appreciated with me, girl:) <3 ya!

    • Rafael says:

      Yum Yucky / Ugh. The work-pregnancy combo is so dang hard to do. I remember tradows the end of my last pregnancy while getting ready for work in the morning, I had to lay down and take a break. So it was wake up, get half-dressed, law day and take a break, get up and finished getting dressed, go to work. Gah! LOL.God bless you and Baby!

  39. Jenn GH says:

    I think it’s awesome you are talking about this! I’m enjoying reading it! I wish I had a little more chutzpah! The only time I work with companies are when they reach out to me. Now that we are going on the road for a year it’s going to be hard to do that since I won’t have a mailing address to receive things.

  40. Hilary says:

    I think it’s great that you are talking about this! And I love the way you’re doing it too….you’re being honest, and putting it out there, but not at all in a TMI way/showing off. Keep it up, and can’t wait to read part 3! And, funny thing, since reading your last post, I have been approached by 2 companies AND offered a free sample from another…sweet!

  41. You went there, and i love it! I’ve always loved your blog! So honest, real, and inspiring! I love to blog just for an avenue to vent and get things out! And i’ve met so many amazing and wonderful people, like you!

  42. Danielle says:

    It’s so great that you are talking about these subjects. Where else can we be as open and honest as we choose without interruption but on our blogs?

  43. I really appreciate you posting this! I have a smaller blog (50 followers) and don’t really try to make money off of it and have only made $20 to date. Just putting that out there for others!

    HOWEVER — my blog helped me land 2 freelance writing gigs and my current full time job. So there you have it.

  44. [...] Blogging Money Talk: From How Much I Make to Opportunities via Blogging [...]

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